I’m still debating whether to take the Glock along to St. Louis.Â Â I’ve never checked a firearm before, since I don’t travel much by plane.Â I’ve always been kind of worried about getting a clueless ticket agent or TSA drone, and having complications and missing the flight.Â Â Or, even worse, have them lose my luggage.
6 thoughts on “Do I Take the Glock or Not?”
I wouldn’t bring my great grandfather’s 1911 that he carried in the trenches (If I had such a thing… man, I wish I had such a thing), but a Glock? Sure. Especially to the NRA convention. (Of course, the convention hall might have some rules…)
My problem is ammo. You can’t take any on the plane, period. So you either have to buy a box when you get there and give it away before you leave, or borrow some. I don’t know of many people who loan ammo to strangers.
That’s not true, Rustmeister. You can take ammo, but you’re limited by the airline. For example, I flew with the max. allowed by Spirit in December which was 12 pounds. As long as it’s stored according to their rules (original packaging is best) then you can travel with it in your checked bag.
As for the convention hall, there may possibly be signs depending on the rules of the venue, but there’s no security.
Flying with them is not bad. But if you chicken out, you can mail it to yourself for lawful purposes.
The only firearm flying mishap I had was on a trip to Kentucky. I got stuck halfway, in Dallas, due to bad weather. That’s fine … but my bag didn’t get stuck … it made it to Kentucky.
When I got to Kentucky the next day, my bag was sitting in front of the luggage office. I walked up, grabbed it, and left, without anyone asking a single question.
That gave me a bit of pause … Anyone could have walked off with my luggage.
My advice would be similar to 30.06’s advice … don’t travel with a gun you’d cry about if you lost. Don’t take an heirloom, or anything expensive. I have a cheap Llama 1911 that I travel with now. I got it for $200 bux at Academy. If it gets lost, that’s a bad thing, but I won’t cry about it too much.
If you are a FAM, DUSM, or FBI SA, the following will not apply, since you may carry a loaded handgun aboard a plane. This only applies to checked firearms:
I’ve been flying with checked firearms for years. So far I’ve been lucky. *knock on wood* For the average person, checking firearms is ok as long as they’re legal at both the destination and origin. As long as you arrive at the check-in counter with the firearm(s) unloaded and separate from ammo, you’ll be fine. Declare your unloaded firearms as soon as you arrive at the counter. But first check your airline’s website for their regs. Some of them have a lower ammunition limit than the typical 11 lbs. Some of them won’t let you check more than 1 or 2 firearms. Some of them require that the firearm be in a lockable HARD case. Some require the EXTERIOR luggage to be hard. Most require that the ammo be in its original box. PRINT these regs to anticipate the clueless counter person, and keep them with your boarding pass. Print out TSA’s regs from their website as well. Get to the airport early in case you do get an inexperienced airline person. This has happened to me quite a bit. You are required to fill out an unloaded firearms check-in tag which goes INSIDE the case along with the firearm, in case TSA decides to snoop inside your luggage after it has already been screened the first time. There have been a couple occasions when I had to remind the counter person to give me the blank tag(s) to fill out. It is illegal to fly with undeclared firearms. The tag is your only proof that you declared them.
My favorite luggage nowadays are all hard-sided. Inside the exterior luggage, I put my Glocks in either their OEM cases with Kryptonite locks or in a small Pelican case locked by combo locks. I remove the slides/barrels from the Glock frames, and the bolts from my rifle and shotgun BEFORE I enter or get to the airport. This way, I don’t have to do this in front of the counter person and a gazillion other passengers checking in, who might panic upon seeing a real firearm for the first time. One time after I’d done this and opened my Hardigg rifle case to show it was unloaded, a very inexperienced counter person asked me to take out the rifle to show that “the barrel is empty”. I told him that the bolt was removed: he could visibly and physically check the empty chamber with his finger if he wanted to, without taking it out of the case. Still, he insisted that I take it out of the case to verify “the barrel is empty”. I looked at him and said, “What do you think is going to happen if I take my rifle out of its case in front of all these people?!” Finally, I asked for a supervisor, who whispered to him that the rifle was obviously unloaded. Other times in the past, they took me to a back room away from the general public to open the cases and show the firearms were unloaded. I prefer this method, as no potential criminals get to see the contents of my luggage and my luggage’s appearance to “pick up” at my destination later.
After you’ve filled out the tag(s) and checked all your other luggage, the UNLOCKED luggage containing the firearm(s) has to go through TSA screening’s X-ray machine before they put them in the belly of the plane. ENSURE that the TSA person relocks the luggage when the screening is done. Most of them already know to lock the firearms after screening, but there was one occasion when the airline person insisted I keep the luggage unlocked AFTER the TSA screening “in case the baggage personnel downstairs need to check it”. Yeah, right! I called for a supervisor once again and asked the first agent if she’d be willing to take responsibility if someone “downstairs” stole my firearms and hurt or killed someone with them. Needless to say, I locked my luggage.
I hope this helps. Bon voyage!
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